1 John 5:1-12
When is the best time not to sin? If we think about yesterday, then we know we cannot not sin yesterday. If we think about tomorrow, then we know we do not know what tomorrow holds. From the process of elimination then we know that today, even now, is the best time not to sin.
For all of yesterday’s sins, no matter how many yesterday’s there are, we confess our sin to God. He is faithful and just. He will forgive us our sins from yesterday. For all of tomorrow’s sins, no matter how many tomorrow’s there are, we cannot do a thing. Well, what we can do is start to not sin right now. For tomorrow’s yesterday is the day for which we would have to confess our sins! It is better to not sin than to have to confess today’s sins tomorrow!
I hope we are not confused about sin. What we know from 1 John is that we are to love one another and to love God. It is when we refuse to love one another that we sin against one another and against God. So then, now would be the best time to love one another and to love God. As we have more “now” of loving one another and loving God, then we begin to realize this eternal life we get from Jesus. For this eternal life is all about loving one another and loving God. How do we begin to have eternal life?
A. Keep (5:1-12)
1. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God – you get born of God!
2. Obey God’s commandments –
3. Conquer the world – by our faith in Jesus!
4. How do we know Jesus is the Son of God?
a. The Spirit – testifies with our spirits that Jesus is the Son of God
b. The water – of the womb, of baptism, out of his side at his crucifixion
c. The blood – how far God is willing to love us, giving up his blood
Ambrose wrote in Of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit renews the mind, the water is serviceable for the laver [of cleansing], and the blood refers to the price. For the Spirit made us children by adoption, the water of the sacred Font washed us, the blood of the Lord redeemed us.” [Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, Systematic Theology: Volume Three, (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), p. 202]
5. We may have eternal life by having Jesus
6. Our God is good. Wormwood received these words from Screwtape:
“When he talks of their losing their selves, he only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that even when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.” (Letter 13) [C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, (New York: Fontana Books, 1942), p. 68]
7. We can begin now to keep on believing in Jesus! For God sent his son into the world, not to condemn us, but to save us. The Spirit lets us know in our being that this is true. The water was applied at his baptism, and the Spirit confirmed, with the voice from heaven, that Jesus is God’s beloved son. The blood poured out of his wounds. It is by that blood from those wounds that we are healed. When we believe in Jesus, we have Jesus. When we have Jesus, we have eternal life. What then are we to once we have eternal life?
B. Ask (5:13-21)
1. We know we have eternal life
2. Ask anything according to his will – God hears us
3. If he hears, then we receive our requests
4. An example of this truth is a human committing sin and our prayers for that person
a. We can either gossip about another person’s sin or pray for that person
b. Our faith in God intercedes for that person
c. Since we know God and believe Jesus is his Son, then we know it is loving to pray for a person who is sinning
d. God can and will give life to that one!
5. We know we are God’s children
6. Let’s not chase shadows, especially, dear children, since you have Jesus!
7. We may have eternal life. But we may lose our eternal life. This happens when our now of sinning becomes today’s full of sinning. And we grow to feel that God can’t deliver us anymore. That indeed we think God caused us, by his Spirit, to sin, which would be the unpardonable sin, the sin which brings death.
Now is the time to sin no more. Now is the time to believe Jesus is the Son of God. Now is the time to love one another and to love God. Now is the time to start living the eternal life we have because of Jesus.